Boston.com sports producer Steve Silva didn't hesitate before running toward the chaos of the Boston Marathon explosions on Monday. The video footage he shot has been shown on every major news network and now has more than six million hits on YouTube.
Standing just beyond the finish line on Bolyston Street, Silva was recording video of runners finishing the race when the first explosion went off. It could be seen clearly on the right side of the screen.
Silva has been on major media worldwide to explain what he experienced during those early minutes following the deadly explosions.
"I was at the finish line getting the late runners coming across, most of them are charity runners at about 2:50 p.m. sitting right upon the finish line, things just going along swimmingly and then boom," Silva told NBC Nightly News. "Smoke just billowed straight up into the air."
In those first few moments of the explosion, Silva explained that he wasn't sure what to think, that for a brief moment, he thought it was a celebration of some kind.
"For a half-second it was like being in the Patriots' end zone where they shoot the muskets off after the touchdown, but on a much higher level so I thought for some crazy reason, 'Oh they did some sort of cannon fire,'" Silva said. "I was waiting for the Hoyts to come across, so for a split second I thought they were honoring someone, but as I got closer it was clear that the smoke started to spread and go up and then you started to hear screaming ... We didn't even have time to react because 12 seconds later as we approached the first explosion boom went the second one."
Talking to Matt Lauer on The Today Show, Silva said he didn't see anything out of the ordinary during the day.
"Unlike last year when the heat was the big story, today was the perfect day for running."
Silva also recalled seeing blood covering the pavement, injured victims sprawled on the sidewalk.
"I actually saw a man who lost part of his leg," he said. "The police, the firemen, everyone was scrambling. It was a chaotic scene and the injuries were nothing short of horrific."
Silva also discussed the experience on RadioBDC Tuesday.
- Steve Silva, Boston.com senior producer, two-time Boston Marathon sub-four hour runner.
- Ty Velde is a 16-time Boston qualifier who's completed 12 consecutive Boston Marathons and 25 marathons overall. Ty is now training for his 13th Boston run and will provide training tips for those who train solo and outside, no matter what temperature it is.
- Rich 'Shifter' Horgan is a 19-time Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge team member who runs in honor of his father, who died of colon cancer. He will provide updates on local running events with a focus on the charitable organizations that provide Boston Marathon entries for their organization's fund raising purposes